News Archive: June 2010
Twenty Lancaster Residents Graduate from Latino Empowerment Project
Lancaster: Twenty Lancastrians graduated from the Latino Empowerment Program during a ceremony held at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center on Saturday, June 5, 2010.
Frances Rodriguez, Chair of the Lancaster County Latino Coordinating Committee, and Scott Sheely, Executive Director of the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, welcomed those being honored and their guests. Christina Pantoja, Assistant Director of Admissions at Millersville University, shared her story and encouraged graduates to focus on opportunities in spite of pressure from their peers.
Class members, Deborah Gonzalez and Carlos Gonzalez, recounted their experience during the seven week course and challenged themselves and their classmates to be the leaders at home, at work, and in the community that they can become. Norman Britol-Colon, Executive Director of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, also congratulated and challenged the graduates to fulfill the expectations that they taken on as participants in this program. Ms. Rodriguez suggested that these graduates are starting an epidemic (a concept used in a class text, The Tipping Point) that needs to spread throughout our community.
Graduates included Loida Acosta-Rodriguez, Mirna Alvarado, Jessica Ayala, Ramon Caraballo, Fanny Castellanos, Rafaela Contreras, Carlos Gonzalez, Deborah Gonzalez, Maria Gonzalez, Debora Gracia, Omar Henriquez, Diana Hurlburt, Jesenia Nieves, Joarlyn Perez, Vasthi Perez, Carlos Ramos, Pedro Rodriguez, Esther Torres, Martha Yens, and Angie Zayas.
The Alcoa Foundation supports this program whose mission is to empower Latino leaders at home, at work, and in the community.
Over 90 Residents of SC PA Graduate from Apprentice Programs
Lancaster: More than 90 residents of south central Pennsylvania graduated from apprentice programs in air conditioning and refrigeration, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, sheet metal, and structural steel during the 40th Annual Apprenticeship Graduation sponsored by Associated Builders and Contractors at the Harrisburg-Hershey Sheraton on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
Todd Staub, Director of Workforce Development at the national organization of ABC, was the guest speaker and Tom Quinn, an electrical instructor from Lancaster, was honored as the Craft Instructor of the Year.
Lancaster County companies such as Brubaker, Frey Lutz, Benchmark Construction, Paul Risk, Wohlsen Construction, Lancaster Electric, B.J. Baldwin, Garden Spot Electric, Haller Enterprises, and others sponsor apprentices and provide them with on-the-job work experience which complements their classroom instruction. Participants work while they learn.
For more information on apprenticeships, contact Alan Arment at ABC by clicking here or visit their website by clicking here.
New Business Clustering in US Counties
Washington, DC: Last month, the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration released a report from a University of Oklahoma researcher which suggests that previously new clusters of business activity developed in the United States in the period from 1990 to 2006. For the downloadable report, click here.
In raw counts, Los Angeles, Cook (Chicago), and New York counties have the highest levels of entrepreneurial activity. Rankings by the rate of firm births per 1,000 workers in each given sector suggest that the nation's interior and northwestern counties-especially in states like Colorado, Utah, Washington, and others-had the highest levels of entrepreneurial activity per person during the study period. The spatial analysis indicates several pockets of significant start-up activity, including manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest; retail trade and local market industries in the Rocky Mountain States; high technology industries in California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina; extractive industries in Texas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming; business services in New York, Washington, DC, and Florida; and distributive industries in the plains states.
Among the central findings of this study is that the fascination of scholars and policymakers with high technology start-up activity is justified in the sense that the pattern and determinants thereof stand apart from the patterns in other sectors. In addition, the level of entrepreneurial activity in one county seems to reinforce the level in nearby counties. In short, aligning the development goals and activities of a group of neighboring counties may be a necessary condition for encouraging entrepreneurial activity in any given county.
Brookings Proposes Five New Realities
Washington, DC: Recently, the Brooking Institution with support from the Rockefeller Foundation published a report entitled "State of Metropolitan America: On the Front Lines of Demographic Transformation" which documents new realities in demographics that will change the nature of our social and economic fabric for years to come. Click here to download the entire report (load your printers...it's a big one).
An Executive Summary outlines the highpoints of the study..."The 2000s were a tumultuous decade for Americans. The oscillating state of the economy, which careened from a mild recession to booming house prices and, finally, to the worst downturn since the Great Depression, complicates the task of summarizing what the decade meant for the future of American society. Nonetheless, the boom-bust economics of the 2000s did not repeal the structural forces that continue to transform our population.
This report shows that our nation now faces five "new realities" that are redefining who we are, where and with whom we live, and how we provide for our own welfare, as well as that of our families and communities. In each of these five areas, the nation reached critical milestones in the 2000s that make those underlying realities too large to ignore any longer. Large metropolitan areas-the collections of cities, suburbs, and rural areas that house two-thirds of America's population-lay squarely on the front lines of those trends."
Why Amish Businesses Thrive
From Small Business Trends on May 29, 2010 by Ivana Taylor: About a month ago I received an email from Erik Wesner asking me to review his new book "Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive." I said "Yes" because I was completely intrigued by the topic. This is about the second time in as many months as I've seen Amish and business success linked together. And I couldn't wait to receive the review copy of the book and see what all the chatter was about.
I wondered what it was about Amish simplicity that called to Erik Wesner over the siren song of technology, social media-driven relationships and mobile apps that the rest of us have been following.
Erik Wesner Was Inspired By The Amish
After getting about a hundred pages into the book, my curiosity got the best of me. So I reached out with an e-mail and asked Erik Wesner what inspired him to become an expert on the Amish and to write this book. Here's what he said:
"I was really impressed by the caliber of Amish companies. All the informal indicators were there; these small shops were very busy, they were getting a lot of outside attention, and even in plain Amish society you could see indicators of financial success among the businesspeople.
I ran my own business in Amish communities. After selling in non-Amish communities, you see certain cultural contrasts. And that is what intrigued me. This includes everything from an appreciation for books, to an inherent anti-waste mentality, to an emphasis on relationships. For instance, I found Amish always know their neighbors, something I found a lot less likely in "English" communities (and I'm guilty of this myself). Not to "nostalgize" the Amish too much, but I feel a lot of these traits are things we once "knew" as a society but have maybe lost touch with a bit. "